Swimming Pool - Type of Pool for Alps?

Hi all - hoping to get some advice from some experts here - done a fair bit of research on YouTube so know some of the basics but hoping there might be someone with knowledge of the Alps / Annecy area.

Met with a couple of local sales people - an independent and Desjoyeux. Both use concrete structure with liners because they say that concrete is vulnerable to cracking with the temperature changes in the Alps.

I’ve seen quite a lot of videos about gunite / shotcrete pools on YouTube and my partner has come across a local firm called Diffazur who use this technique - this is probably my prefered type as I think it looks better than vinyl.

Desjoyeux advised there’s no advantage to using a coque pool because you still need the concrete structure in this area and it’s may also crack if there’s ground movement. I’ve read on this forum that the monoblock filter is not the best.

Many thanks,

I am confused?
Shotcrete is concrete.
Vinyl is just a finish, just as shotcrete is a structure that requires a finish, plaster, tile etc.
Coque pools can tolerate some movement, often backfilled with sand to allow movement.
Don’t overlook insulation for extended comfort and reduced heating bills.
A local seismic study should provide some information.
Yes the monoblocks are not good, except for the installer. The skimmer port is close to the return port so water takes a short route and does not circulate that well compared to normal installations. The bags are really strainers more than filters. The desy system works just about when everything is ok, when things go a little wrong, it then becomes the nightmare as you can quickly see how poor the filtration is.

sorry John - I should have been more clear - in USA (most of the videos on youtube are american) they refer to concrete pool as those that have a concrete (plaster) or tile shell (liner) and a Liner Pool might well have a concrete structure (as recommended locally here) but then the vinyl liner is on top.

this is the part I don’t understand - why do the local sales guys recommend not having a concrete pool here (plaster or tile surface) due to potential cracking when presumably any such cracking would affect the structure just as much as the shell? One guy said this is due to potential ground movement and the other said it’s more to do with the temperature changes in the Alps - roughly -5 to +30 between winter and summer

I do have a friend who runs a large chalet in Chamonix where the owner insisted (against advice )on a very small greco-roman style mosaic tile pattern and it did crack and fall off just two years later. I’m wondering whether something like a quartz or pebble infused plaster might work better and be easier to fix if there was ground movement.

Many thanks

Can’t agree with John more regarding the monoblock system. As he says, fine when working perfectly but an absoloute devil when anything goes even slightly wrong. And one of the desjoyeaux pools I look after needed a new pump and they quoted 1760€ for a new one! Needless to say we sourced one elsewhere.

Thanks Dave - I’m glad I came across this forum - can hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls. It’s such a large expenditure, I’ll be sick as a dog if I buy something that makes my life miserable :slight_smile:

I was involved with a company who made a permanent shuttering system for pools etc. It was strong enough to allow concrete vibrators to be used, that produces a shell which had a certificate for siesmic areas. These other companies with pollyblock etc can’t compact with vibrators as it will burst their structures, hence their reticence to build maybe?
The temperature expansion idea doesn’t hold water in my book (pun intended). The water won’t normally drop below 4c or go above 34c and it’s a slow transition. If the temperature is likely to drop lower then some precautions should be taken as the secondary freeze could cause a problem to any outdoor pool in the area.

Thanks John - I’m wondering whether you yourself would go for a liner or plaster surface for a new pool?

It’s a good question, a friend of mine makes the quartz finish and done well looks great. It is a lot easier to look after the chemistry with a liner pool. Two types of liner, armoured and bag liners
Armoured is a weld on site liner and there are some great textured slate and stone look like finishes, being twice as thick it can take a lot of abuse. Bag liner comes in standard colours but there maybe some new surprises at the Lyon show, let you know if there are. With liners they will wear out and personally I like the ability to replace with the latest designs making the pool look like new again.
There is also the EcoBright finish, this sprayed on hot and looks pretty good, all things in the eye of the beholder.